Monday, November 19, 2012

Acting Flight Lieutenant Donald James Mathew Blakeslee - No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron

No. 133 (Eagle) Squadron Operations Record Book noted their first sortie to Dieppe: “Every dog has his day and on the 19th August No. 133 was the dog! Operation Jubilee was in process and the Squadron had been at readiness of 0350 hours to takeoff for the first patrol if necessary. “The Squadron finally took off at 0720 with orders to orbit Dieppe at 7,000 feet. Target was reached without incident, but the fun began soon after!” Acting Squadron Leader Don Blakeslee reported: “I was leading 133 Squadron in the first sortie. I was flying at approximately 8,000 ft. in an orbit over Dieppe when I saw a formation of 8 FW190s with another 4 behind them preparing to dive on shipping about ½ mile out from the harbor. “I picked the one closest to me, who after dropping his bomb, went up in a climbing turn making for the land. I got in astern of the e/a and opened fire starting from 300 yds. and closing to 100. “I saw cannon shells exploding on, and in, the cockpit. The e/a took no evasive action and went into a shallow turning dive. I broke away at 2000 ft. and left him still going down in a turning dive which had steeped. “My No. 2 followed this a/c after I had broken away. He himself pulled out at 1500 ft. and he saw the e/a still diving for the ground. I request that the assessment of this e/a be stepped up, as neither I, nor my No. 2, believe it is possible for him to pull out of this dive. I claim 1- FW190 destroyed.” Don Blakeslee led No. 133 Squadron on their second sortie at 10.15 hours. F/L Blakeslee described the operation in a combat report: “I was flying at 10,000 ft. when I noticed 2 FW.190’s. The e/a were out to sea N. of Dieppe. I dived down on them with my No. 2. The e/a turned south immediately and made for land. We cut them off and got to within 3-400 yds. I took a short burst of about 2 seconds from above and quarter astern. “I saw strikes on the fuselage between the cockpit and tail unit. The e/a flew straight on in a very fast shallow dive and was soon out of range. Some minutes later I heard on the R/T that Do.217’s were above me, some of which were being engaged by Spitfires. I singled out one of these who was flying South in a shallow dive. I saw Spitfires manoeuvring to attack him. “I cut in front of them and got into position dead astern of the e/a. I broke off and saw the e/a turn to starboard and roll over almost onto his back into cloud emitting smoke. I came down round the edge of the cloud and saw steam and spray just where the e/a would have hit the water. “P/O Cook (Blue 1) & P/O Ryerson saw me firing at the Do. 217. They also saw me break away to the left. They followed the e/a down and saw flames coming from the engine and saw it crash into the sea. I request that the assessment of this e/a be stepped up in view of its having been seen to crash into the sea by Blue 1. I claim 1 FW190 Damaged, 1 Do.217 Destroyed.” Distinguished Flying Cross Citation: "This officer has completed a large number of sorties over enemy territory. He has destroyed 1, probably destroyed 2 and damaged several more hostile aircraft. He is a fine leader whose keenness has proved most inspiring."

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